Monday, February 12, 2007

Driving vs. Flying

People at work are frequently amazed that Carol and I drive to Winter Park each year for our ski trip rather than flying.

I actually enjoy the drive.

We borrow audio books from the library (formerly “Books On Tape,” but now they’re on CDs) to listen to and help pass the time. I find I can keep up with the plot and characters, notice the author’s techniques of dialogue, description, point of view changes and scene shifts, and evaluate the effectiveness of those techniques. All while watching the scenery and keeping an eye out for wildlife or wild traffic.

We were both delighted with two of the books, both by authors I’d never heard of.

The first was “Gone for Good” by Harlan Coben. Sparkling dialogue, excellent descriptions, good action and suspense, amazing twists of plot (a few I saw coming, most I didn’t). I highly recommend this book. It ought to be a page-turner, and is written with much more skill than I possess.

The second book was just as good, but in a very different way. Titled “The Blue Last” by Martha Grimes (British) this murder mystery was set in modern London and its environs. Replete with typical desert-dry British humor, the plot tied a very recent murder to events during the Blitz of World War II. Some characters and events that seemed significant turned out not to be, or significant in a different way than you’d guess. But unlike some stories, the fact didn’t irritate the reader. Ms. Grimes is another very skilled writer, and worth a read if you enjoy mysteries.

And, while listening to these excellent tales, I saw herds of antelope in New Mexico, two huge bull elk in Colorado, and managed to avoid sliding on ice patches that claimed other hapless drivers whose cars were embedded in snow banks on the side of I-25.

What? You want pictures of the elk?

Okay. Here's one . . .

Here's one...

And here they are together...


Hale McKay said...

Except in a zoo, I have never seen an elk. They are magnificent creatures.

A little plug, as I am wont to do:

Knowing your love of Africa, I have have debunked some archeological findings currently held as fact in my 2/12 post: Bones of Contention.

kenju said...

Welcome home! I'm too busy to say much, but I'll be back after Valentine's Day.

Peter said...

Good to see you back and in one piece John.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Actual Nature!

kenju said...

John, I made the print smaller on that one post because it was longer than usual. It will be back to normal print next time.

Yes, I disable comments on the top post of two, so you have to comment under the lower one when they are posted together.

Karyn Lyndon said...

You're a real blogger when you delay your ski trip to take nature pics on the side of road especially for your readers.

Welcome back!

Badabing said...


I don't know if you realized this, but I think that one elk is mooning you :-)

Duke_of_Earle said...

"When the moon hits your eye,
Like a big pizza pie,
That's amore.

When you swim in the sea,
And an eel bites your knee,
That's a Moray."

(Hey, YOU'RE the one who brought up the moon!)